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Discussion Starter #1
Let's assume that a fully adjustable suspension will be offered by either Lotus or an aftermarket company (Nitron).

Since the spring rate is fixed and probably optimally matched to a firm damper setting, how will the suspension perform on the street with the dampers set to a soft setting? I would love to be able to get the best of both worlds (compliant ride for street and firm for track days etc.), but with a firm spring and a damper set to soft, would'nt this compromise the handling on the street?
 

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There is still some margin for adjustment on the damper characteristics with a certain spring stiffness.

Of course there are upper and lower limits you should not cross for a specific spring rate or it becomes over- or under-damped, but anything in between should be OK and depends on the usage pattern you are looking for.

Nitrons (I use them on my car) are for instance built/valved for the spring rate you want to use and they make sure the damper/spring combo keeps working across the whole adjustment range that's available.

The adjustment range for a 325lbs spring +damper combo will be quite different than one set up for a 500lbs spring though.

Bye, Arno.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Arno said:
There is still some margin for adjustment on the damper characteristics with a certain spring stiffness.


Bye, Arno.
Thanks Arno. Have you heard anything about Nitron offering a similar setup for the 111R/Fed car?

ed- I've contacted Nitron via e-mail but have heard nothing on the matter.
 

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I don't know why the Nitron bits that are available now wouldn't bolt right up to a Fed car?

Have they changed the pick-up points?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
meat said:
I don't know why the Nitron bits that are available now wouldn't bolt right up to a Fed car?

Have they changed the pick-up points?
Good point, but I would assume that they would at least have to adjust the valving for the additional weight?
 

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Maybe you are a better suspension tuner than I am, but remember that the Fed car is only about 150 lbs heavier than a Euro version. This is equivilent to having a passenger in the Euro car.......
 

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Discussion Starter #8
meat said:
Maybe you are a better suspension tuner than I am, but remember that the Fed car is only about 150 lbs heavier than a Euro version. This is equivilent to having a passenger in the Euro car.......
No I'm quite sure you know much more about these cars than I in light of your Exige experience. I only know enough to be dangerous. Your 150 lbs difference makes sense- maybe we can order the same shocks and same valving- thanks.
 

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I'm not trying to "show-off" with Elise knowledge - just trying to keep it real.

These cars are not new. They have been around since '96 everywhere else in the world. So, there are lots of bits out there for the cars - you just need to know where to look and what to look for.....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I did'nt take it that way. I was serious that owning one of these cars -especially a track only exige- gives you hands on knowledge of these cars that I wish I had- but don't yet.

So (thinking aloud)do I get LSS then switch out the dampers for Nitrons and buy a set of the standard wheels off of another owner that's upgrading wheels, or get the standard suspension, keep those wheels for street upgrade to Nitrons and then buy lighter aftermarket wheels with wider fronts. Decisions decisions.

I really like the full adjustability of the Nitrons, so if I get LSS, I'll essentially be buying a $2400 set of wheels if I can't sell the LSS dampers/springs.
 

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If you are serious about the car I would buy the base car and do your own upgrades.

There are different levels of Nitrons out there. The basic is a 1-way adjustable. They also have a 2-way adjustable. Not sure about 3-way.

Keep in mind that Suspension Dynamics is the supplier for the Motorsport division. I don't think that the 2-way adjustable Nitrons are that much cheaper than the 2-way Dynamics. I'd also bet that the Dynamics will be set-up shortly for the car (proper valving, etc).

So, you get the base car and then order up a set of 2,3-way adjustables for $2500-$3000. Buy a set of used wheels or even buy new and a set of 48s and you are good to go. I'm not sure what they are doing with the steering rack on the LSS, but it's nothing that can't be done in your garage if you can spin a wrench or know someone that can.....
 

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The LSS is throwing money out the window if you are serious - it isn't good enough for the track/auto-x. So, you will end up replacing it anyway. So why not just buy something that will work for you and not pony up the $2500 for the LSS?

All IMHO.
 

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_JD_ said:
Thanks Arno. Have you heard anything about Nitron offering a similar setup for the 111R/Fed car?
Not yet, but I guess this is just a matter of time.

They already do a set for the Speedster/VX220, which is of similar weight compared to the Fed-Elise and 111R.

The normal off-the-shelf 'road&track' spring rates used on a standard nitron set will probably be a bit different from the ones on the current S2 (or S1 for that matter) and the valving also set up a little different to take this into account.

The 'big wait' is probably for someone to get their hands on an actual Fed-Elise and make sure that the damper lenghts and such are still the same as on the current Elise model and also perhaps give some front-rear weight data from an actual car.

If this is the case then Nitron's should be available pretty quickly.

Bye, Arno.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nitron responded by saying that they anticipate offering the same system for the current S2 for the fed car. They should have the system finalized by the time the second batch is coming in (June/July).
 

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meat said:
The LSS is throwing money out the window if you are serious - it isn't good enough for the track/auto-x. So, you will end up replacing it anyway. So why not just buy something that will work for you and not pony up the $2500 for the LSS?

All IMHO.
Here's my rational:

This will be my first mid-engined car, and while I'm no stranger to a track, I want to be sure I'm comfortable with the Elise before I really start pushing it on a circuit. By getting the LSS I'll get used to the upgraded handling and for the first year or so it will be "good enough". When I'm ready to seriously upgrade, I'll then know what I want out of the car and the LSS parts will be starting to wear out and need replacement anyway.
 
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